Don't listen to 'alarmists' over earnings slowdown, Ed Yardeni says it's an ideal time to be in stocks

The V-shaped market rebound could be considered a victory for long-time bull Edward Yardeni.

He went against negative sentiment in December as stocks pulled back.

And now, in a research note this week, he has a new target: Bears who are warning investors that the earnings slowdown will derail the 2019 rally.

"There's some bearishness because the comparisons for earnings on a year-over-year basis are probably go to be flat — maybe even slightly negative in the first half [of the year]," the Yardeni Research chief investment strategist said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "But beyond that, I think we are going to see an economy that's growing with growing earnings."

Citing tough comparisons against last year's blockbuster corporate results, Yardeni sees the weaker trend as a temporary bump. He says there's no earnings or economic recession in sight.

"Why are stock prices continuing to rebound from last year's Christmas Eve low now that everyone is curbing their enthusiasm for earnings — with some alarmists predicting that that low will be tested once companies confirm how bad earnings are this year? Good question," wrote Yardeni in a research note this week.

With the stock market roaring off the December low and 10-Year Treasury yields under 3 percent, Yardeni calls it an ideal environment to be in equities.

"We never really got credit for the fundamentals of last year. Earnings were up almost 25 percent last year, and the market took a dive at the end of last year — taking away about 6 percent from the S&P 500," he said. "Some of this is just catching up to the underlying fundamentals which were really extraordinarily good."

Yardeni, who spent decades on Wall Street running investment strategy for firms including Prudential and Deutsche Bank, believes investors got robbed during the market plunge.

"On December 26, I said back then that I thought investors were finally coming back to their senses, and that we were probably not going to have a recession and the sell-off was an overreaction," he added. "We made it all back in a heartbeat."

The S&P 500 has surged 19 percent from its December low, and was 5 percent from the index's all-time high of 2,940, as of Wednesday's close. Yardeni predicts 2019 will exceed that record level.

"It's still going to get to 3,100 [this year], it's just going to take a little while longer," Yardeni said, referring to his missed S&P target from 2018.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET). In addition, he contributes to CNBC and CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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